DANGER! Man Digging A Hole For Himself

July 26, 2009

Yes we moved your desk, quit blubbering!

Filed under: Crazy Women — John Pruitt @ 2:00 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Have you ever worked with a joker?  Not the Heath Ledger sociopath, but rather the trickery of Penn and Teller?  I’ve had the pleasure of working with some real masters at the art of a good practical joke.  Even my own current president and CEO have both once or twice enlisted my help as wingman on a couple of jokes.  Through my association in this secretive society of the work related prankster I was once tangled up in a web of treachery, deceit and injustice that was rivaled only by the novel Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman.  A book that truly mimics my life experiences.  This tale ties to my blubbering title after a couple of twists and turns, so stay with me dear reader, for I shall show you joking hell at it’s finest.

I work for a woman that I have unparalleled respect for in business.  She has brains and wisdom.  She communicates her thoughts and ideas in a way that I am envious of as well as thankful for.  She has the ability to exercise caution and restraint in conditions that I would jump without thinking of consequence.  With all of this you would think that she has little to no sense of humor.  Ahh but with humor, as with icebergs, if you see a hint on the surface, there is much much more beneath.  Due to conditions of privacy imposed on me by alliances at the time, I will not comment on her theatrical record of comedic evil to which I was a part.  Though I will say, to put it lightly, the girl can dish it out.

As with all good stories, along comes a spider.  Several people wanted justice and retribution against my comedic crime boss and came to me to assist them.  Being involved in the initial joke as her wingman, I would have been playing both sides against the middle and I knew it would mean I would have many jokes against me to contend with  in my future. I was fine with that part, but the joke they wanted to perpetrate was one I had some heinous experiences with in my past.   Because of this I declined their request and promised my silence as to their identities.  I did not warn my boss of her impending doom as the action we took together was done and our temporary alliance was at an end.  I wasn’t on retainer to be a squealer and besides, I surmised she needed no protection.  The supposition was in error.

Did someone move your desk?The next morning as my boss came into my office and said “Did you do it?”, I realized I wasn’t going to get out of this train wreck in one piece.  She flatly refused my denial but let me off the hook at first.  It seems that sometime in the night, someone had gained access to her office and completely reversed it.  Her desk was facing the wrong way and most accompanying furniture was also shifted.  My boss put on a strong front and attempted to work in an office gone backwards for about an hour.  She then returned to my office and gave me the task of switching it back.  I’m not sure if she did this because she was positive I had done the dirty deed or if it was because she knew she probably hadn’t caught me at something else so this would be cosmic justice as opposed to direct justice.  Cosmic justice is always a bigger pain because you know you are guilty of other things.  Karma is a $&#$@.  I should have squealed, but having a 3rd grade sense of right and wrong, I decided to swallow the justice and go in there and put things right.  Only then did I find out that the desk she had was made out of the heaviest material I had come across.  It had to border over 400 lbs and it didn’t want to be moved.  With much struggling and a couple of other guys who were not involved in either joke to help out, I managed to get her office back to it’s original shape.

My reason for staying out of the joke?  The heinous experience?  I’ve been working at places where employees have had desks since 1982  and I have seen this one office occurrence happen time and time again.  Offices change and grow.  People need to re-arrange the layout and move desks around.  Other people are not at work on the big day of the move.  Come the next morning?  Guys who were not in the office on move day go to their new desk, sit down, and it’s work as usual.  The women?  Ohhh it ranged from anger to tears but not one time was it work as usual.  I believe it has to do with the nesting thing.  Women can take nesting way too far and tend to nest everywhere they use as space.  Home, park bench, car, work.   When ever the duty comes to me of changing or doing something to a woman’s space without her knowledge or approval, I always refuse the duty.  

So now I put it to you dear reader what have you seen?  Am I off my nut again?  How deep is this hole really?  Please tell me here.  I’m dying to know what you think!



  1. When Juan worked at Sun, for one of his direct report’s birthdays, he and some other co-workers actually put up sheet rock and entirely covered the guy’s office door! When birthday boy came to work, he had no office to go to.

    Another time Juan and his cohorts brought in… dang. I’m going to have to wait until Juan wakes up to get all the details. I don’t want to ruin it, because Juan is an expert practical joker and I’m a terrible story teller.

    Comment by Sabrina Montelongo — July 26, 2009 @ 3:53 pm | Reply

  2. I’m not much of a nester, and I don’t have much of a workspace, so I can’t really speak with authority. Oh! Wait! I’m fairly territorial about my laptop. Definitely not okay to start rearranging my settings or bookmarks or… well, anything. Does that count?

    As far as your hole… I think anytime you make gross generalizations about the opposite sex, you’re in trouble, potentially in deep. It doesn’t stop any of us, of course, but I have to admire your willingness to blog it aloud! You go, boyfriend!

    Comment by judy — July 26, 2009 @ 3:58 pm | Reply

  3. Yeah, J(udy), he used to come onto my computer and re-arrange stuff. I am a creature of habit, I don’t look where I click (sometimes) my icons are where they are and I know it. So I would come to my computer and click and then be totally confused because something other than what I wanted opened up. What is up with that? Don’t be re-arranging my stuff. Rude!

    But is this post about practical jokes or touching people’s stuff that you shouldn’t touch or saying that women are crazy possesive? Or is the hole so deep it is about it all?

    And when, pray tell, were you (John) ever “on your nut”?

    Comment by terrepruitt — July 26, 2009 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

  4. I think in general, you may have hit the nail on the head with the “nesting thing”.

    But I am not sure it applies to only women, because though I hate to admit it, I am very “territorial” when it comes to my desk space, and even more so over my laptop.

    When my wife used my laptop once when hers was down, she accidentally changed a setting. I don’t remember the exact thing she did, but it was minor, and I fixed it in no time. Yet I was almost ballistic over it, and spent most of the rest of the day pouting over it.

    Childish I know, but I never asked to grow up. And I did admit it and apologize …. eventually.

    Comment by snowbirdhunter — July 26, 2009 @ 5:14 pm | Reply

  5. Hmmm. Let’s see if John fesses. Thanks, “Snowbirdhunter”.

    Comment by terrepruitt — July 26, 2009 @ 6:12 pm | Reply

  6. First of all, LOVED the baby birds.

    And I think it’s more of a personality thing than a male/female thing. Most people don’t like their world being shifted without their knowledge….

    now making the earth move? That’s a whole nother topic…..

    Comment by karen from mentor — July 27, 2009 @ 11:29 am | Reply

  7. Ah, the traditional office pranks — I love them. I’ve never rearranged somebodies desk, but here are a couple of the things I have done:

    I basically hooked up the musical greeting card electronics to someone’s keyboard so when they hit the CAPs key it would sing. I got great reactions from that. One person even thought that there was a virus on their computer.

    This is a classic. Take a screenshot of the person’s desktop, move all the icons (apps, folders, etc) to a folder not on the desktop and set the desktop wallpaper to the screenshot. The unsuspecting victim will sit there for several minutes trying to click on the icons that aren’t really there. If you’re lucky they’ll even reboot their machine hoping that will fix it.

    Comment by Jeremy Gillick — July 27, 2009 @ 2:10 pm | Reply

  8. Dude! Absolute amoral evil on that desktop screenshot joke 😉

    Comment by John Pruitt — July 27, 2009 @ 2:30 pm | Reply

  9. Next time I see you guys, you’ll have to let me in on your pranks you cannot disclose here.

    Comment by Jeremy Gillick — July 27, 2009 @ 4:38 pm | Reply

  10. I think it matters more to women than to men. I no longer work in an office, hence my title, but can tell you that the last one I worked in was a totally open concept which meant also that everything was considered community property. After 20 yrs of typical cube land I was used to my space! I found it very hard to adjust to this, and I think it is a nesting thing. My husband works in cube land still and he can relate to your jokes – he’s one of the masters. I think he would agree though, not to mess with the ladies’ turf! Good luck!

    Comment by Sherri - Corporate Fugitive — July 27, 2009 @ 5:05 pm | Reply

  11. a. if you were accused of ill-doing, you must’ve deserved it somehow?!

    b. the “nesting theory” while interestingly provocative, I don’t think has legs to it. I’ve seen many-a-men complain after ‘desk-moving’ time. I agree with karen from mentor…it’s a personality thing. Some people just don’t like their things ‘touched’.

    Comment by Silent Reader — July 28, 2009 @ 4:02 pm | Reply

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